BRITS on seven Greek islands will have to quarantine on their return after Ministers introduced new ‘regional’ travel corridors.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced this afternoon that he will impose restrictions on popular summer getaways including Zante, Mykonos and Santorini.
Mr Shapps told MPs in the House of Commons that he had agreed to look in to regional ‘air bridges’ to European islands as new data meant the government can accurately track outbreaks abroad.
It means people returning from Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos (Zante) from 4am on Wednesday will need to quarantine for 14 days on their return.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has also updated its travel advice for Greece to advise against all but essential travel to the islands.
But the rest of Greece remains exempt from the FCDO’s advice against all non-essential international travel.
The announcement will spark a dash for flights back home by thousands of holiday makers who will not be able to self-isolate.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our top priority has always been to keep domestic infection rates down, and today we’re taking the next step in our approach.
“Through the use of enhanced data we will now be able to pinpoint risk in some of the most popular islands, providing increased flexibility to add or remove them – distinct from the mainland – as infection rates change.
“This development will help boost the UK’s travel industry while continuing to maintain maximum protection to public health, keeping the travelling public safe.”
Last week the Welsh government put Greek islands Mykonos, Zante, Lesvos, Paros, Antiparos and Crete on its quarantine list.
The travel industry is calling for mass testing at airports to end the quarantine measures, but Ministers have so far resisted the calls adding testing isn’t a “silver bullet solution”.
More than 30 countries, including France and Germany, have introduced mass testing at airports, with people only required to quarantine if their test comes back positive.
And Health Sectretary Matt Hancock also warned single tests at the border “don’t work.”
But speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari Mr Hancock said: “We are working to try to find a way to allow for the quarantine to be reduced, but done in a way that also keeps people safe.
“We can see with these increased numbers of cases the importance of making sure we protect the health of the country especially from areas of the world where there’s a very high number of cases.
“Finding a way to do that safely that works effectively, that people can and will follow, is really important.
“Sadly, unfortunately, just doing one test at the border doesn’t work, and the reason it doesn’t work is because this virus can incubate for a period inside your body without a test being able to pick it up.”